Gutters and Downspouts: Proper Drainage

We all know that plumbing problems inside the home can be a nightmare. Water where it is not supposed to be inside our homes can ruin irreplaceable possessions and cause thousands of dollars in damage. But water outside the home can also cause big problems. Fortunately, you have crucial systems in place to repel rain and melted snow and move it away from your house; these are, of course, the roof, gutters and downspouts. Does that mean you’re protected? Well, maybe. What you may not realize is it’s the way in which the downspouts discharge water that is also important.  All downspouts should be directed to discharge at least 5 feet away from your home’s foundation.  The ground should also have a negative slope (down and away) where it meets the house.  [See diagram below.] Water that discharges onto splash blocks or, even worse, directly onto the ground, sets up the soil to be water-saturated which, over time, can lead to foundation issues and settlement. This can be a particular problem here in Northern Kentucky where we get a significant amount of rain seasonally.


When we inspect your home, Union Home Inspection will examine your downspouts and determine whether or not they are moving water away from your house properly.  Fortunately, the fix to this issue is relatively inexpensive and can usually be done by the homeowner.  [Photos below show improper downspout discharging.] Schedule your inspection today!




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